The Best Kept Secrets in Prague (According to an Expat!}

Experience the New York Times Journey's Tour with Prague Urban Adventures

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The cobblestone streets of Prague lead visitors to many well-known bars, restaurants, and historical sights. The centuries old attractions like the famous Charles Bridge or the city centrepiece — Our Lady of Tyn Church —, all play a significant role in Czech culture and history. But what about the non-touristy attractions in Prague?

Best Kept Secrets in Prague

Sure, Prague in itself is a magician.

It hides some of its most memorable parts in camouflaged nooks and crannies, narrow side-streets, and eclectic underground passageways — a new world city built upon the remnants of a dark and mysterious past.

The front of St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague, Czech Republic. Photo Credit: East Coast Contessa.

It’s romantic yet gritty exterior has turned it into a prime destination for world travelers, on par with cities such as Paris, Rome, and Berlin. But, the boom in tourism hasn’t come without an increase in over-tourism and cost-of-living prices.

About Urban Adventures:

A tour company dedicated to showing patrons the “lesser known” parts of the world is Urban Adventures. An international franchise, the company offers food and historical sightseeing experiences in 68 countries across the globe.

One of their newest Prague-based tours, “New York Times Journeys—Story of Prague: Remarkable Architecture and Food“, takes patrons to local spots favorited by respected New York Times food and travel writers.

View of the Vltava River looking to the West Bank (Little Quarter) of Prague and the Prague Castle. Photo Credit: East Coast Contessa.

Combining Gothic Art Nouveau architecture with an evolving food scene, patrons get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the hidden non-tourist attractions in Prague.

Read along below to learn more about the itinerary for “New York Times Journeys – Story of Prague: Remarkable Sights and Food” tour.

About the New York Times Journeys Tour:

It’s early on a Sunday morning in mid September. The trees have started to change color and there’s a light breeze blowing through the empty streets of Prague’s Old Town.

View of Our Lady of Tyn Church from the top of the Astromonical Clock, Prague, Czech Republic. Photo Credit: East Coast Contessa.

My destination is one I haven’t heard of before, even after a year of living 10 minutes away.

I walk through the tunnel below the old powder tower towards a now sparsely populated Old Town Square. I see Our Lady of Tyn Church and jumbo blow up panda bear suits.

In an hour it will be so crowded one can barely move, but I’m not going there. Not at this moment at least.

Prague, Czech Republic
View of Lesser Town from the top of the Vrtba Garden lookout, Prague, Czech Republic. Photo Credit: East Coast Contessa.

I round the corner and meet Michaela, a local tour guide who has called Prague home for the last 7 years. With an intimate group of four, we head to the first stop: St. Agnes of Bohemia Convent.

Stop 1: The Convent of St. Agnes

Steps from the heart of Old Town, a dark yet unassuming Gothic structure looms over the banks of the Vltava River. It’s reconstructed centuries old stones cast a shadow over busy side streets and alleyways busy with unsuspecting tourists.

Describing Prague Urban Adventures tour
Inside the main hall at St. Agnes Convent, Prague. Photo Credit: East Coast Contessa.

The Convent of St Agnes, otherwise known as the “jewel of the Old Town” was founded around 1231 by Agnes of Bohemia. A princess of the Přemyslid family, she was also the sister of the Czech Republic’s prized King King Wenceslas I.

Describes Prague Urban Adventures
Inside St. Agnes Convent, Prague. Photo Credit: East Coast Contessa.

Today, the convent is home to the Prague National Gallery, covent gardens, and a printing workshop. Here, we tried our hand at caligraphy with an old quill like the nuns used to do.

Describing Prague Urban Adventures Tour
Writing with a quill at St. Agnes Convent, Prague. Photo Credit: East Coast Contessa.

After, we set out across Old Town making a quick stop at the Astronomical Clock as it struck noon. While it is not considered a non-touristy attraction in Prague, Michaela informed us that while it had previously been voted the “2nd Most Disappointing” attraction in the world, it has since redeemed itself.

Astromonical Clock, Prague. Photo Credit: East Coast Contessa.

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We continue on towards Wenceslas Square to experience one of Prague’s newest and most renowned Czech bistros: Spejle.

Stop 2: Skewers at Spejle

A new addition to Jindřišská Street, Bistro Spejle has quickly risen through the ranks of Prague’s culinary scene to become one of the city’s most popular restaurants. It’s not just the quality of the ingredients used, either. Spejle offers a unique experience at an extremely affordable price.

Glorifying the concept of the Czech Republic’s popular open-faced sandwich concept, Spejle displays rows upon rows of chlebíček generously topped with vibrant vegetables with savory meat. Others include spreads like hummus, egg salad, and beetroot, and sweeter finds like fig and whipped goat cheese.

A sampling of open faced sandwiches at Spejle, Prague. Photo Credit: East Coast Contessa.

Custard filled goodies topped with berries and whipped cream, and bite sized cakes and cookies claimed a significant section of the bar.

Each item on display was speared with a certain number of toothpicks or “skewers”. The concept was simple: the greater number of skewers, the greater the item in price. Not to worry, though. Each skewer is the equivalent of just 29 Czech korunas.

The pork schnitzel and potato pancake with potato salad at Spejle in Prague, Czech Republic. Photo Credit: East Coast Contessa.

To start our meal, we each choose four spejle’s as starters before the main course of potato pancakes and schnitzel. Naturally, the chlebíčky’s (small, pickable open faced sandwiches) were a hit. The vlašský salát with peppers, hard boiled egg, and baby Swiss cheese became a fast favorite.

We tossed our skewers (and our empty plates) onto the middle of the table for tallying, and hit the cobblestoned streets now in search of Italian dining at another of the city’s hotspot.

Stop 3: Family Style Lunch at La Bottega Linka

Throughout the past decade, Prague’s Italian gastronomy scene has flourished two-fold. At the center of it all stands the mini-empire of La Bottega Linka. Mastered by Chef Riccardo Lucque, this popular bistro and deli boasts a charcoal-fuelled oven, house made pastas, and perfectly cured meats.

Lobster broth pasta at La Bottega Linka.

Underneath exposed lightbulbs and over sparkling industrial floors, we quickly order a flurry of family style dishes like the “Tortellini filled with lobster in shellfish broth”, the “Paccheri with baked tomatoes, ginger, and stracciatella cheese foam”.

One of the many dishes at La Bottega Linka, Prague. Photo Credit: East Coast Contessa.

We consumed the last drops of our Lis Neris Pinot Grigio and made our way to our fourth and final non-touristy attraction in Prague for the most delicate and decadent treats.

Stop 4: Werich Museum and Cafe

We took Prague’s historical tram number 23 and rode the rails until we crossed the Vltava River into Little Quarter. From the Hellichova tram stop, we ventured through narrow side streets until we made it to Kampa Island, one of the most beautiful non-touristy attractions in Prague.

Kampa Island in Prague. Photo Credit: East Coast Contessa.

One of Prague’s hidden gems, Kampa Island has been voted as one of the most beautiful city islands in the world. Also home to the Lennon Wall and Museum Kampa, it’s base to one of the most renowned cafe’s in the city.

Since 2017, Werich Villa has provided educational programs and exhibits focused on former actor and playwright Jan Werich’s life. The museum also offers cinemas and yoga classes during the warmer months in the garden outside.

On this particular day, admission was free of charge for visitors, but expect to pay 60-100 CZK on a normal day.

We made our way to the attic to learn about Jan’s life as an important moral authority during the Czech Republic’s pre-war era.

After an hour, we hopped down to If Cafe for cappuccinos and traditional Czech desserts. We chose from delicate cannoli’s, Cukrarina, and Hazelnut Mousse with a crispy layer of milk chocolate and hazelnuts (the favorite).

this image shows the desserts at Werich Village in Prague
The Hazelnut Mousse dessert from Werich Villa in Prague, Czech Republic.

Across the park, we staked out a grassy knoll to people watch, chat, and enjoy the final moments of the tour as the sun set over the Vltava.

Book Your Tour

Prague Urban Adventures offers the NYT Journeys tour daily at 10am. Groups no larger than 12 discover the best non-touristy attractions in Prague with a local English-speaking guide. Food and beverages consumed at the skewer tasting, one-way transportation on the tram, admissions to sights, a coffee and a snack, and a family style Italian lunch are included in the ticket price. Tips, personal souvenirs, and any other extra purchases are the responsibility of the patron.

To book your experience on the New York Times Journeys – Story of Prague: Remarkable Architecture & Food tour, click here. To check out other tours offered through Prague Urban Adventure’s, visit their website at www.pragueurbanadventures.com.

***this post was created in sponsorship with Prague Urban Adventures.

 

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47 Comments
  1. Nina says

    Let me start by saying that this is a very well written blog!

    Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe! Not quite sure how anyone could consider the astronomical clock as disappointing? There is always a crowd around this unless you are here extremely early and it is gorgeous!

    1. Alex Booze says

      Hi Nina! Wow wow! Thank you so much for your compliment. It means so much! About the astronomical clock —- I think some people always have to find something negative in everything. It’s still a very beautiful place. I’m glad you enjoy it too!

  2. Catherine @ To & Fro Fam says

    Writing with a quill sounds so fun! And so hard, haha!

    1. Alex Booze says

      It was a lot harder than it looks when other people do it, that’s for sure haha!

  3. Emma says

    I’ve been to Prague but it’s been a while so I think I need to go back and use some of your tips to find some new things to do. Can I say that I would plan a trip for that hazelnut mousse dessert alone. It looks amazing!

  4. Natasha Amar says

    I loved exploring Prague a few years ago, especially areas like Vinohrady, away from all the crowds. Great post!

  5. Tilly-Jayne says

    Wow Prague looks so beautiful! Definitely on my list when the world opens up and we can travel again..

  6. Polly says

    Love this article and your photos. Have never heard of Kampa Island but certainly adding it to my list. Hopefully will get to go to Prague soon.

  7. galatia savva says

    How cute! Id love to have a go at calligraphy it looks so cool!

  8. Suzanne says

    It’s been eons since i’ve visited Prague but I always enjoy the clocks in cities – the details and colors are fantastic especially if you can zoom with camera. Lovely tour seems to have covered a few secrets of the city. Adding to my list for post quarantine travel revisits.

  9. Madi | Madimonde says

    Ahh Prague is my favorite city in Europe, it’s so dreamy! I love all your photos and the food looks amazing (:

  10. Bettina says

    Absolutely love this! Your photos are so beautiful! I can’t believe I haven’t been to Prague yet. It’s at the top of my list for when we can travel again and I will save this post for the trip!

  11. I’ve never been to Prague, but I’d love to go. I will keep your very well written itinerary in mind. Beautiful photos. The food pictures are so enticing!

  12. Ophelie says

    I have been to Prague a long time ago but I haven’t seen any of those places. Thanks for the reco! The food looks very good!

  13. Agnes says

    When we’re able to travel again, I can’t wait to take my bucket list Budaprague trip. Great post!

  14. April says

    Prague certainly is a magical city. I’ve been dreaming of going back and would love to explore it more in depth. Thanks for the great suggestions!

  15. Chelsey says

    This is such a thorough list! Such a great reference if I get the chance to visit Prague!

  16. Katie Dickinson says

    This looks so fun! I love a well-planned tour (especially if they include food). I haven’t been to Prague yet, but I’ll definitely keep this on my radar for when I eventually make it over!

  17. Karen says

    I felt like I was on the tour with you. The food photos are astounding. Writing with a quill pen looks fun. Interesting post.

  18. Francesca says

    Prague is such a cool country to visit! I really like the story behind the Astronomical Clock.

    1. Alex Booze says

      Yes it’s the most beautiful city in Europe! Even when I lived there, walking through Old Town Square never got old!

  19. Teri-Anne says

    I absolutely love Prague! You’ve given me some great ideas for my next visit!

    1. Alex Booze says

      Yay! Yes, it’s a place that people go back to again and again!

  20. carrie says

    Omg that hazelnut dessert looks incredible. I loved Prague and it’s at the top of my list of places to go back to — and these look like some great hidden gems to explore on a return trip!

    1. Alex Booze says

      It was probably one the top 10 desserts I have had in my entire life — and I’ve had a lot! haha. Prague is always a good place to return to. Hope you get to some day! <3

  21. Carla Vianna says

    I am dying to go back to Prague. That city unbelievably BEAUTIFUL.

    1. Alex Booze says

      RIGHT!? Honestly, it’s one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. I can see why it has fallen victim to over tourism, but I don’t blame people for wanting to see it for themselves!

  22. COURTNEY says

    So well written! And gorgeous photos!

    1. Alex Booze says

      aww thank you so much. I appreciate it!

  23. Aireona says

    Prague seriously seems like one of the most amazing cities in Europe. I have yet to go, but everytime I see pictures, I really want to experience it for myself. On top of it, I love your list of places to check out. Most I have not seen listed elsewhere!

    1. Alex Booze says

      It is! That is one of the reasons why I chose to live there when I moved abroad 🙂 If you get a chance to visit once all of this is over, I would highly recommend it. Your life will never be the same!

  24. Elizabeth says

    I would love to visit Prague one day! It’s great to read about some lesser known things to do there. Using a quill to write at St. Agnes Convent sounds like such a neat experience!

  25. Urban Wanders says

    Such a detailed post! I’ve been to Prague once but I missed so many of these attractions! Can’t wait to go back one day! 🙂

  26. Chelsea says

    Arrr I SO badly want to visit Prague! I love that you pointed out some of the non touristy spots because those are my favourite! The food omg looks amazing

  27. Erin says

    I was in Prague a few years ago and fell in love. But that trip was all about the staple things to see. I would love to revisit the city so I can drop by a few of the lesser known spots you’ve mentioned! Thanks for this great guide, pinning it for later.

  28. Melissa says

    This is great! I am living in Berlin and really want to get back to Prague! I love all the recommendations! Great food shots!

  29. Amanda says

    Lovely post! I love Prague, been there twice already, but I could easily go back a third time just to try all the yummy food your suggesting in this post haha

  30. Jen says

    I haven’t been to Prague but it’s on my list! I can’t wait to take another trip to Europe and I’ll definitely save this post for when I go love your photos!

  31. John Confidus says

    Many years ago, I lived in Prague for some time. Now a lot has changed! But still, this is the perfect place for me! I plan to be there after quarantine! Thanks for sharing!

  32. Cassie Bailey says

    These photos are nice! Looks totally charming there

  33. Pia says

    So toll! Ich war noch nie in Prag und will eigentlich seit Jahren mal hin. Aber irgendwie kommt immer etwas anderes dazwischen. Was aber nicht heißt, dass ich es nicht irgendwann dorthin schaffe. Freue mich schon drauf 😀

  34. Camille says

    Thanks fpor sharing this. I hopecwe could also visit Prague.

  35. Alexx says

    WOW some amazing hidden gems in here, so many fun suggestions!

  36. Zarina says

    Such amazing photos and great tips! I wanted to go travelling across Eastern Europe this spring but that obviously didn’t happen so hopefully next year. I will definitely use your tips then! 🙂

    1. Alex Booze says

      I hope you get to go next year! When you go, if you need more tips or recommendations, feel free to reach out to me! <3

  37. Debbi Shibuya says

    Great photos and jam-packed article with unique info! Definitely saving for the future.

  38. Suzy says

    Even though I’m Czech myself, I’d be very tempted to go on a tour like this and experience Prague from a different point of view! Thanks for the lovely tips, Alex!

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